On Friday afternoon, Capitol Hill resident Brendan Ng came upon a swastika spray painted on a light pole at the intersection of Mercer and Belmont. He took out his phone and recorded a Facebook Live video. "Words can't really describe how I'm feeling right now," he said grimly.
"This is a historic LGBTQ neighborhood in Seattle," Ng continued. "Overnight, a swastika has appeared on a light pole... the after effects of Trump are real."
Since the election, reports of hate crimes to the Southern Poverty Law Center have skyrocketed. The SPLC says it's received at least 250 such reports, "roughly the amount they receive in a typical five or six month period."
FBI data released today showed an increase of hate crimes—the fraction that are reported to police, anyway—of 6.8 percent in 2015, compared to the previous year.
Today, former KKK leader David Duke is praising Trump's pick of alleged white nationalist Stephen Bannon as a senior strategist, CNN reported. "I think that's excellent," Duke said.
"We have a right to defend ourselves," Ng said to his friends on Facebook. "We really got to get together. Women, POC, immigrants, Muslims, LGBT people—it's our time to stand up."
Ng cited statistics showing that 80 percent of Americans own as much wealth as the top 7 percent. "We have more in common with poor white people than we do with the rich white people," he added.
Zachary St. John, who runs a nearby event space, quickly painted over the swastika. "I wanted to paint over it, just to not give power to that imagery, so people in the neighborhood didn't have to see it," he said.
St. John said the following night, five men heckled him and his girlfriend, taunting them and yelling pro-Trump chants.
Ng signed off from Facebook this way: "I'm personally organizing self-defense committees right now. I love you all."